a pig at heart



In a medical center in Baltimore (USA), a 57-year-old man has had a pig’s heart transplanted. It is a milestone in the history of health, but beware, it is not a minor milestone in the particular history of the pig, an animal whose name we humans use to discredit the contrary and which the facts have come to confirm as a superior race. There are certain living beings that are preceded by bad fame, such as chickens, pigeons, vultures or donkeys, but the pig takes them all, despite the profitability that people get from the pig. Everything is used from the pig. Also the heart.

The human being it is a species subjected to the eternal debate of contrasts and contradictions. I want to believe that David Bennett, the dying maintenance worker who was fortunate enough to receive the transplant (he has been in the hospital for six weeks and his condition prevented him from receiving another person’s heart) is a normal man whose mental parameters accept the vaccination as a means to achieve immunity according to which diseases. Nor would it be strange to me that any other beneficiary of a pig heart was one of those anti-vaccines who does not object to a good pig transplant and the day he is summoned for the third dose he messes it up with the health workers.

The transplantation of organs from animals to humans values ​​science and medicine as much as it delegitimizes the denial discourse of anti-vaccines. Every day we read that a thirty-something anti-vaccine who opposed getting Pfizer has died. Blessed are the deniers who continue to be news today, a sign that they are still being made a little house, although I anticipate that when they stop being so and society no longer pays attention to them, they will run to the nearest health center in search of the injection. It may be too late for that day, but it is the price that is sometimes paid for giving the note and endangering the lives of others. Science goes on.

We are, he said, a kind of extremes. We are equally opposed to receiving the vaccine, that we play our last card to the heart of a pig; we still brag privately that we don’t taste red meat, that we stone a minister who charges against the mega-farms and slips the theory that Spanish meat is of questionable quality if it is raised at close range. A kind of extreme, yes, and that we come up right away, too.

In the daily report of nonsense, in Murcia, a denier -already removed from her responsibilities- I was in charge of the team of nurses who carry out their work in a nursing home, while in the Balearic Islands, the high court of that community has rejected that two young girls can go to school without a mask because their parents have ordered it that way. The worst thing is that despite the high risk to collective health that events like these entail, they barely shock us, although all of us who carry a human heart ask for the same radical reaction.

The Baltimore patient has survived the operation since Friday. Days before, he had joked with the doctors about what his life would be like from then on, whether he would growl or end up wallowing in the mud. With due reservations, I wonder if life will change this Bennet emotionally; if you will feel differently, if you will suffer differently; if he will love or hate differently now that he has the heart of a gocho. Perhaps I love more and better and hate less.

And the more I think about it, the more I remember the final paragraph of Rebelion on the farm, by Orwell, you know, that novel where pigs first took power over humans to end up negotiating with each other in the middle of a game of cards washed down with alcohol and set amid puffs of cigars. “The astonished animals looked from the pig to the man, and from the man to the pig, and again, from the pig to the man, but it was already impossible to distinguish who was one and who was the other.”

Thanks to science and advances in medicine, the historic Baltimore transplant brings us closer to a degree of empathy with other species that we sometimes cannot with our own. There will be no complete parity until the reciprocal fact occurs, namely: that the day comes when a human being transplants his heart into a pig. Even the glorious ending of Orwell’s book will eventually get old.

@jorgefauro

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